Kelly Slater Reigns Victorious at the 2022 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy
11 times World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), took the win for the 2022 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Championship Trophy, on August 29.
Kelly Slater started the day dominantly, taking a win over Rob Machado (USA) and Taylor Knox (USA) in Round One of the Thruster Division. Slater then went on to match up against local wildcard and multiple Maldives Surfing Champion Hussain “Iboo” Areef (MDV) in the first Semi-final.
Maldivian flags flew from nearby boats, hoping for a local win, and Slater fans were cheering from their sundecks as the two surfers battled it out at Sultans. In the end it was Slater who took the win from Iboo and advanced to the Final Round.
“I am very honoured and very happy to have surfed these past few days,” said Iboo. “These guys are legends, they are the people I watched when I was learning to surf. They had a big impact on my surfing career.”
Slater then went on to compete against Rob Machado (USA) in the Thruster Division Final, where he scored a 9.33, the highest wave score of the event, in the dying minutes of the heat. This solidified his second victory of the event, making him not only the Single-Fin Winner but now also the Thruster Champion.
“This whole event has been so fun, it’s been really relaxed with the guys,” said Slater. “To have this crew together has been really enjoyable, and Iboo has been a great addition. I’ve never met him before, but he’s had a smile on his face the whole time – it was so nice to get to know him and surf with him.”
“All of the local crew that showed up on the boats seemed like they were having a great time, too – they were hundreds of yards from us, but we could hear them yelling the whole time. There has been such a good vibe here”, he added.
Following the Thruster Division Final, the two surfers with the most points accumulated throughout the event were set to surf in the Grand Final. Slater and Shane Dorian (HAW), who had been the most consistent surfers over each division, were the Finalists. The two were going head-to-head throughout the event, Dorian with two-out-of-three heat wins against Slater.
With inconsistent sets rolling through the line-up at Sultans, conditions were tricky for the Finalists. Dorian found himself in a combination situation for much of the heat, and although he was able to throw down a strong score of 8.7 in the final minutes, he wasn’t able to find that backup score to take the win. Slater, however, found himself in rhythm with the ocean and won the Grand Final with high scores of an 8.23 and an 8.73.
The 2022 Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy is a luxury surfing event like no other, and the iconic line-up of Momentum Generation surfers (Kelly Slater, Taylor Knox, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian and Ross Williams), along with local wildcard Hussain “Iboo” Areef, made this year one for the history books.
Featured Images: Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa